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 Ludwig Dill  (1848 - 1940)

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Lived/Active: Germany      Known for: atmospheric landscape painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Near Murano.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Wilhelm Franz Karl Ludwig, a landscape painter was the only son of the Grand Ducal Assessors Office, and later a district judge, Ludwig Dill and his wife Rosa Dill, born Dietz. A year after his birth the family moved to Gengenbach, 1856 by Durlach, and finally 1862, to Stuttgart.

Ludwig Dill in 1872 studied architecture at the Stuttgart Polytechnic, and moved later to the Munich Academy*. From 1874 he was a student of Karl Theodor von Piloty, Carl Raab and Otto Seitz .

About the latter artist, he wrote: "Prof. Seitz was a naturalist. With his big picture Neptune and the Naiads we saw at the hips and calves, the welts from the petticoats and garters, which have borne the ladies.

Ludwig Dill was traveling a lot beginning 1874 and discovered at Venice, one of his favorite landscapes, especially in Chioggia. In his work the realism of impressionist* colored Venetian landscape gradually gave way in the early nineties to a kind of natural ornamental stylization, aligned with the Art Nouveau style*. The artist, who had also made a name as a marine painter, was a founding member of the Munich Secession*, an association of Artists of Munich, which he served as president from 1894 until 1899.

Of significance was his friendship with Adolf Hoelzel, in the Dachau art colony, and ran a painting school which he first visited there in 1892. As he made his way to Dachau, Dill wrote:

"To visit my friend in the Hölzel unknown Dachau, I went on a beautiful autumn days out there. To my great surprise, I saw on both sides of the track enchanting waterways and ponds of beautiful color tones. Hoelzel now showed me a number of popular motifs, but I could not offer anything special. Then I said to him: 'Now I want to do but one for you'. He also was amazed at my delicious discoveries! From then on we pushed further and further into the 'moss', where our enthusiasm had no limits. The White Moor has done us very special. Since my decision was made! Dachau and Dachau only!

In 1896 Ludwig Dill moved to Dachau, where he bought (today Ludwig Dill Street) is a small house on what is today known as the Ludwig Dill Street. Together with Arthur Langhammer and Adolf Hoelzel, he founded the school of painting "New Dachau", making it one of the most important representative styles of the Dachau artist colony.

In 1899 Ludwig Dill went as a teacher to Karlsruhe where he taught from 1899 1919 at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe . The artist returned in the summer months coming back to Dachau, where he owned his house:

When he was in the summer at Dachau, he was the revered center of younger artists and painters.  Each week, this group met at Horhammer in the 'Max-Josef-room', where the master Venetian gondola songs sang, accompanying himself on the lute, idolized by his pupils. The circles not belonging to this younger colleagues called this intimate gatherings a little envious 'worship'.

Ludwig Dill was married twice. In 1875 he married Louise Kornbeck (1875-1905), with whom he was married 30 years and had three children, two daughters and one son (died in WW1). Four years after the death of his first wife, he married the painter's widow Johanna Malburg (1859-1944).

In 1936 he was made an honorary citizen of the town of Dachau.

Wikipedia, English translation from


* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

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